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Decline of the American Enterprise

December 20th, 2002

I had a dispute with William Zinsmeister a while back over his use of clearly erroneous statistics on European productivity. I must admit I assumed his American Enterprise magazine was a fly-by-night operation ripping off the respected, if clearly right-wing, thinktank American Enterprise Institute. This post from Brad DeLong shows that the truth is worse.

Zinsmeister’s outfit is the real American Enterprise Institute, but it has gone downhill a long way in the last few years. As DeLong says “Back in the late 1970s, the American Enterprise Institute ranked close to the Brookings Institution as a thinktank you could trust not to deliberately lie to you. Now it has fallen very deeply into the pit indeed”. Apparently, Zinsmeister used analysis of the political views of teacher’s in women’s studies courses and presented them as representative of the leftwing bias of academics in general.

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